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Ted Rall toons in Clooney Ides of March movie

Editorial cartoonist Ted Rall was commissioned to draw several cartoons for the movie “Ides of March” which involves a plot about a fictional presidential campaign.

Here’s Ted’s email explaining his involvement.

Earlier this year I received a phone call that led to one of the more interesting cartooning assignments of my career. The set designer for the upcoming George Clooney-directed film “The Ides of March” was looking for background ephemera?newspaper clippings, photos, political cartoons?that might be taped, say, to the back of a seat in a campaign bus.

The movie takes place in Cincinnati, during a pivotal Ohio presidential primary. Philip Seymour Hoffman plays Paul Zara, a veteran political advisor to a John Edwards-like liberal Democrat played by George Clooney.

After a number of conversations, we decided that I would draw six political cartoons for the movie. They would be printed on newsprint and placed on the set as described above.

I read the script and tried to imagine what criticisms a political cartoonist might have about the two rival candidates (Morris vs. Pullman) in the race as well as other facets of the Ohio primary that might be of interest. Of course, these candidates were imaginary. It was weird, and very fun.

I was a little worried my cartoons would wind up, like many fine performances by actors, on the cutting-room floor. So I didn’t tell anyone about it. But I was lucky. Two of them are right there, in the second scene (and later on in the film as well). You can even read them if you see them in a theater with a sharply focused screen.

The best thing about drawing cartoons about imaginary politicians is that no one gets angry at you.

You can view the cartoons on his blog.

Community Comments

#1 Shane Johnson
@ 11:09 am

Great attention to detail by both the filmmakers and Ted.

#2 Jeff Darcy
@ 11:22 am

Cool. I was wondering if George Clooney just bid for the
custom cartoons Teds been cranking out for hundreds of
bucks on ebay.

Wonder if they thought of using that editorial cartoonist who
used to rule Cincy. He wasn’t to shabby himself.
Name is Borgsomethingorother? He now does a comic strip about acne I think.

#3 Charles Brubaker
@ 12:56 pm

These are good “easter eggs” for those who love these things. Similar thing happened to Berke Breathed several years ago when he drew a bunch of fake comics for a film called “Secondhand Lion”.

#4 Ben Carlsen
@ 1:28 pm

Charles: Yeah, I remember seeing Secondhand Lions and wondering if it was a real strip. I was disappointed to find out it wasn’t. I would love to read it!

I’m not a fan of Ted’s, but this is still cool.

#5 Brian Fairrington
@ 7:12 pm

Hey that’s great Ted! I look forward to seeing this movie. Clooney has made some great films in recent years (except Oceans 11,12,etc) The American, Michael Clayton, the Edward R Murrow flick, all great films. BTW, if you don’t mind saying, how well does big time Hollywood pay for stuff like that?

#6 Paul Fell
@ 7:25 pm


You anti-establishment Devil! Coercing The Man into giving you cold, hard, cash for movie rights! You Dog!

I’ll be I’ve seen the last time you spring for beers at the AAEC convention. Sigh.


#7 John Cole
@ 8:22 am

Can I have your autograph?

#8 Clay Jones
@ 11:35 am

This is really cool. Maybe Ted will comment in here to tell us about it….OH YEAH!!!

#9 donna lewis
@ 12:39 pm

Ted – don’t let Shepard Fairey (artist behind the Hope-inspired poster) take credit for your strips. :-)

Also, I’m available to go with you to the Oscars in February. I hear the bling is totally worth the awkward introductions.

#10 Mike Lester
@ 1:01 pm

Hold the phone: since when is it kosher to post a story on a site about someone who’s been booted from said site? Out of respect to Ted, (or anyone in similar circum.) I think it unfair to comment until he can. Otherwise, how can he defend himself.

Because the author of this has some tap dancing to do:

#11 Mike Lester
@ 1:03 pm

Wrong link. Apologies:

The other link is just some MSNBC talking head calling for murder at OWS. Nothing to see here.

#12 donna lewis
@ 1:04 pm

So I can’t be Ted’s Oscar date? :-(

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